Androgenic alopecia, also known as "male pattern baldness" and “female pattern baldness,” can strike younger as well as older people. It's genetic, so having a family history can predict if you might inherit it. In both men and women, it's linked to having an excess of male hormones (androgens) around the hair follicles, which can block hair growth. Women are more likely to develop androgenic alopecia after menopause, when they have fewer female hormones.
Minoxidil (Rogaine). This is an over-the-counter (nonprescription) medication approved for men and women. It comes as a liquid or foam that you rub into your scalp daily. Wash your hands after application. At first it may cause you to shed hair as hair follicles. New hair may be shorter and thinner than previous hair. At least six months of treatment is required to prevent further hair loss and to start hair regrowth. You need to keep applying the medication to retain benefits.

Central centrifugal cicatricial (scarring) alopecia: This type of hair loss occurs most often in women of African descent. It begins in the center of the scalp. As it progresses, the hair loss radiates out from the center of the scalp. The affected scalp becomes smooth and shiny. The hair loss can be very slow or rapid. When hair loss occurs quickly, the person may have tingling, burning, pain, or itching on the scalp. Treatment may help the hair re-grow if scarring has not occurred.
Wow, I just started doing some research on this because I have been having problems with my hair thinning on the top of my head for several years, along with some sensitivity. I went to my internal medicine Doctor and he didn’t say much, which struck me as odd… he referred me to my women’s doctor who was slightly more sypathetic but offered no suggestions other than to see a dermatologist. I have been putting it off because I feel like I am getting the run-around. I see that I am not alone!
There is no cure for the condition.[2] Efforts may be used to try to speed hair regrowth such as cortisone injections.[1][2] Sunscreen, head coverings to protect from cold and sun, and glasses if the eyelashes are missing is recommended.[2] In some cases the hair regrows and the condition does not reoccur.[2] In others hair loss and regrowth occurs over years.[2] Among those in whom all body hair is lost less than 10% recover.[5]
As much as 30 percent of women will experience some sort of hair thinning, usually first noticed with age as a skinnier ponytail or a little more visible scalp peeking out. Thick hair screams “youth,” which makes thinning a tough pill to swallow. But there are many ways you can help slow down thinning and hair loss, from eating the right foods to cutting back on stress, even strategically styling your locks. Here, seven ways to stave off hair loss and keep your ‘do looking young and healthy for longer. 
In 2010, a genome-wide association study was completed that identified 129 single nucleotide polymorphisms that were associated with alopecia areata. The genes that were identified include those involved in controlling the activation and proliferation of regulatory T cells, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4, interleukin-2, interleukin-2 receptor A, and Eos (also known as Ikaros family zinc finger 4), as well as the human leukocyte antigen. The study also identified two genes, PRDX5 and STX17, that are expressed in the hair follicle.[18]
Side effects and concerns: Minoxidil is safe, but it can have unpleasant side effects even apart from the alcohol-related skin irritation. Sometimes the new hair differs in color and texture from surrounding hair. Another risk is hypertrichosis — excessive hair growth in the wrong places, such as the cheeks or forehead. (This problem is more likely with the stronger 5% solution.) 

This blog is great in all the support and understanding it provides, but I had a pretty hard time finding any suggestions for treatments that have actually helped anyone. I’m 22 and my hair has been rapidly shedding over the past 5 months. It’s also gotten thin and brittle. After 2 blood screenings, a dermatologist visit, and a visit to my general practitioner, nothing has improved. The doctor’s told me to wait it out, and that sometimes this “just happens”. They tested my hairs and saw that most of them were in the “resting” telogen phase, and decided I had Telogen Effluvium (TE) for undetermined causes.
The general medical consensus around laser treatments — caps and combs alike — is that low-level laser light therapy stimulates the cells within the hair follicle. These devices may also increase cell metabolism to promote thicker and more durable hair shafts, something that neither minoxidil or finasteride can do. To use the HairMax Ultima, all you have to do is glide the device over your scalp slowly. Treatments should take about eight minutes, and you should do it three days per week for the best results.
I would just like to spare anyone else In Los Angeles thinking about going to see the dermatologist who supposedly specializes in hair lossat UCLA (Dr Strick or something like that I think is his name) He is the most insensitive and uncaring Dr. I have ever met. After waiting close to 2 hours after my scheduled appt to see him. He gave me some xeroxed copy of an article on T E that was out of Glamour or Cosmopolitan or some Fashion magazine like that. He asked no questions. I wasnt even there for 10minutes but when I showed him a big bag of hair which I saved, that had fallen out in the past several weeks. He just very insensitively told me it was T E and it would grow back-basically like just get over it, then he gave me the bums rush out the door.
Family history will often tell the doctor what type of alopecia a person has. Occasionally, a punch biopsy may be necessary to determine the type of hair loss. Looking at plucked hairs under a microscope can help to tell the difference between alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia. Other tests might be done to check for autoimmune diseases like lupus that can accompany alopecia.
I want to first write that I am not a fan of hair transplants for women, I personally think that most women with androgenetic alopecia are NOT candidates for this procedure. Having said that, I get emailed all the time from women looking for a good hair transplant surgeon. If you are deadset on having a consultation, please visit the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. The IAHRS (http://www.iahrs.org) is an organization that selectively screens skilled and ethical hair transplant surgeons. Read my thoughts about hair transplants here.
The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
I know how upsetting it is to start to notice thinning hair. Mine has been thinning for the last two yrs. I am not longer able to style my hair at all because of lack of thickness. I know in my case its memopause, plus some meds I am on. I do take biotin, and would appriciate any advice on shampoos that might help make the hair look thicker. I No loner put bleach in my hair, but do you a color with no bleach. I have gotten my self a little hair peice that clips on, and going to have it colored, trimed for me, and use that when going out.. Some hair pices a are very, very, nice. I would suggest you look into them untill some cure comes about. My Partner in Life brought it for me because he knows how upset I have been about my Hair.. Nice guy for sure. Good luck to all.. This is a place that I hope every woman finds who is having this problem.
Testosterone replacement is becoming popular for men. Cotsarelis warns that this may accelerate hair loss. Propecia might help -- but because it prevents testosterone breakdown, it might affect the dose of male hormone replacement therapy. Cotsarelis warns men taking both Propecia and testosterone replacement to make sure their doctor carefully monitors their testosterone levels.
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